There have been plenty of surprises from Ange Postecoglou’s brief reign in charge of Celtic so far.
The form of Kyogo Furuhashi has to be one of the biggest plus points. After arriving as Odsonne’s Edouard heir in waiting, he has scored seven goals in nine outings for the Hoops.
Callum McGregor’s revival since becoming the club captain has also been eye-catching but nothing has been more pleasing than Anthony Ralston.
The Scot had only featured once in the entirety of last season but has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign so far under Postecoglou.
Ralston has missed just two matches all term and has become one of the new manager’s most important players.
Before the campaign got underway, you could quite easily make a case that he wasn’t good enough for Celtic.
Indeed, against Real Betis in the Europa League under a week ago, that was definitely the case.
Fortunately, there was a rare blip in the right-back’s remarkable season so far. He has scored three goals this term, including a wonderful solo effort on the opening weekend against Hearts.
There was a fresh slate for every Celtic player when the new boss was hired but Ralston is the player who has arguably benefitted from that the most.
It will provide hope to others on the fringes, particularly those out on loan, that their career at Parkhead is far from over.
That goes for Lee O’Connor. The defender is currently enjoying his second campaign away from Paradise with Tranmere and being a right-back, he could be their new Ralston.
He won’t get a chance to prove his worth in Glasgow this term but upon his return, he could provide a similar impact to the Scot if afforded an opportunity.
Like Celtic’s current first-choice option at right-back, he is full of quality, certainly in offensive areas.
After O’Connor signed for Tranmere last term, their former manager Mike Jackson commented: “He is a young lad with an excellent pedigree, and we are looking forward to him. He has a lot of ability, he is good on the ball, he will fit into the group well.”
John O’Shea is also a man who’s been full of praise for the Irishman. Speaking about the former Manchester United youth product, he once said: “Look he was quality, top quality on the pitch. He looked very comfortable, he went right-back to left-back in a breeze, it was no problem to him.”
With that adaptability in mind, O’Connor is certainly an exciting young talent.
Never seen in the Celtic first-team before, Ralston’s form and opportunities prove this year that the 21-year-old can’t discount his Hoops career.
After all, we all know how McGregor’s loan spell in the English Football League has helped his career.